In this post, Abigail Steed, Research Funding Specialist in Edinburgh Research Office, shares insights from the latest Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) ARMA study tour event, highlights current RAE funding programmes and opportunities and the RAE access mentoring scheme for applicants from underrepresented groups.
ARMA’s latest online study tour was hosted by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE), the UK’s national academy for engineering and technology. The study tour was a platform for the RAE to showcase their range of funding programmes and opportunities. The aim of the majority of RAE schemes is to enhance collaboration between academic researchers and industrial partners, with the aim of growing engineering talent and diversity, and driving innovation for economic and social benefit.
Royal Academy of Engineering funds
The RAE funds a wide range of activities, which include:
- Research grants (further detail below).
- Support for spin-out and start-up companies through their Enterprise Fellowships for graduates and researchers.
- Ingenious Public Engagement Awards.
- Education programmes such as scholarships and mentoring for undergraduate students.
- A visiting professors scheme.
- Global Development partnerships through their Engineering X programme.
- Policy Fellowships which create links between civil servants and industry and academic experts.
Funding opportunities for each career stage
Research funding opportunities are available for all career stages. The funding model varies from scheme to scheme so please check the guidance for each individual call for information on costs that the RAE will cover. The RAE takes a broad view of engineering and it is not compulsory for applicants to be officially based in an Engineering discipline. If you are unsure whether your proposal fits the engineering remit, you can contact the RAE to discuss, or contact your Research Funding Specialist.
Access mentoring scheme for applicants from underrepresented groups
The RAE is actively seeking to increase diversity and excellence in the Engineering research community through its Fellowship Fit for the Future campaign. As part of this, they have developed an Access Mentoring scheme which provides support with research proposal development for applicants from underrepresented groups including female, Black, Asian and minority ethnic, LGBT+ and disabled engineers. Details of how to access this scheme can be found in the guidance for individual funding calls. Proposal reviewers will not be made aware of whether or not an applicant took part in the Access Mentoring scheme.
Fellowship Fit for the Future campaign details (RAE website).
What makes a successful application?
Here are some tips from the RAE on what makes a successful research grant application:
- Be realistic in terms of milestones, resources, and capabilities.
- Make sure that your vision, ambition, novelty and potential impact of your project are clearly explained.
- Provide a clear rationale for the chosen host institution and collaborators.
- Ensure you have strong letters of support from the host institution and industry partner.
- A successful grant application should include demonstrable knowledge of the field, including an acknowledgement of any competitors.
If you are interested in applying for any of these schemes, please work with your School/Institute Research Office and your Edinburgh Research Office, Research Funding Specialist in the first instance.
Find my Research Funding Specialist (University of Edinburgh staff access only)
Schools/Institutes may have an internal selection process so please check before you start your application.